Subscribe
A group of military police begin the 15-mile foot march to complete their 62-Mile Challenge.

A group of military police begin the 15-mile foot march to complete their 62-Mile Challenge. (Jessica Iñigo / S&S)

A group of military police begin the 15-mile foot march to complete their 62-Mile Challenge.

A group of military police begin the 15-mile foot march to complete their 62-Mile Challenge. (Jessica Iñigo / S&S)

Sgt. 1st Class Gary Keziah, from the 92nd Military Police Company, rode the last eight miles of the 37-mile bike portion of the 62-mile challenge on a flat tire. He was still able to come in from the 10-mile run and bike portion in five hours.

Sgt. 1st Class Gary Keziah, from the 92nd Military Police Company, rode the last eight miles of the 37-mile bike portion of the 62-mile challenge on a flat tire. He was still able to come in from the 10-mile run and bike portion in five hours. (Jessica Iñigo / S&S)

HANAU, Germany — The challenge for military police during the MP Regiment’s 62nd anniversary was a case of mind over matter — if they didn’t mind running, biking and marching 62 miles, it didn’t matter.

Companies from the 709th Military Police Battalion throughout Germany hit the road running Friday at 6 a.m. to begin the 10-mile run, 37-mile bike ride and 15-mile road march all before 6 p.m. on Fliegerhorst Casern.

“The hardest part has been the bike portion,” said Staff Sgt. Lisa Dale from the 127th MP Company as she headed out to finish the final leg. “The thought never entered my mind to quit, though. Now, I’ve already seen the route, so it should be easy to finish the final portion.”

For others it wasn’t so easy. Some participants got a flat tire, others took a tumble and one even crashed a bike into a car — there were no major injuries, though.

“This isn’t a race,” said Staff Sgt. Carlos Enrique Rodriguez, an event coordinator who helped motivate participants to complete the challenge. “It’s set up to be a personal challenge. Soldiers should do as much as they can do and if they don’t finish it, well, at least they know they did what they could.”

To make the challenge even harder, some soldiers toted a 20-pound rucksack during the final road march.

“It makes it that much more of a personal challenge for me,” said Spc. Greg Perkins from the 127th MP Company.

The challenge wasn’t only limited to the police. Sgt. Jorge Negron, who works in personnel for the 127th MP Company, said although he wasn’t an MP, having everyone participate in support of the regiment’s anniversary helped build better unit cohesion. Other participants included friends and family members. Afterward, there was a barbecue.

“It’s a good challenge, plus I like being able to go out there and keep up with those young soldiers,” said Deana Porrett, who was competing against husband 1st Sgt. Mark Porrett from the 127th MP Company. With her was friend Marge Connelly.

Leaders of the battalion led from the front throughout challenge, coming in first, second and third.

Capt. Ronald M. Large, commander of the 92nd MP Company came in first in five hours and 41 minutes; 1st Lt. David Sheronas, rear detachment commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, came in second a minute later; and Capt. Kevin Hanrahan, commander of the 127th MP Company, came in third at six hours and 4 minutes.

“The worst part for me was at the beginning of the first 10-mile run and then the first eight miles of the 15-mile march-run. There was no end in sight at all, you’ve still got an unknown amount of hours to go,” Hanrahan said.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now